Fri. Jan 21st, 2022

Eric Leroy Adams, a former New York City police officer whose attention-grabbing personality and sharp focus on race justice nurtured a decades-long career in public life, was elected Tuesday as New York’s 110th mayor and the second black mayor in city history.

Sir. Adams, who takes office on January 1, faces a staggering set of challenges as the country’s largest city struggles with the persistent consequences of the pandemic, including an uncertain and unequal economic recovery and persistent concerns about crime and the city’s quality. life, all shaped by sharp political divisions over how New York should move forward.

His victory signals the start of a more center-left democratic leadership that, he has promised, will reflect the needs of the colored working-class and middle-class voters who provided him with the party’s nomination and were crucial to his electoral coalition.

The results in New York unfolded as Democrats across the country monitored the upcoming results in two other closely monitored races with concern: the competitions for governor of Virginia and New Jersey, two states that President Biden comfortably won last year.

By the end of the night, Republican Glenn Youngkin had taken the lead in Virginia, and the Democrat, former Gov. Terry McAuliffe, drove well behind Mr Biden’s 2020 margin in suburban and suburban communities across the state.

Mr. Youngkin ran an energetic campaign in the democratically oriented state, in which he tried to exploit Mr. Biden’s weak polls and parents’ anger at local school boards. Mr. McAuliffe, who was governor from 2014 to 2018, sought on every one turn to tie Mr. Youngkin to former President Donald J. Trump in hopes of mobilizing Democrats and independent voters, but he said little about what he would do with another term.

In New Jersey, Democratic incumbent Philip D. Murphy was in an unexpectedly close race with Republican challenger Jack Ciattarelli. The two races for governor were seen by many party strategists as potentially ominous signs of next year’s midterm elections.

In New York City, even when Republicans seemed ready for the opportunity for small advances in the city council, Democrats easily won the selection contests. It seemed likely that many of the officials that Mr Adams will be working closely with – prominent future city councilors, the public prosecutor and other Democrats who won on Tuesday – will be significantly to Mr Adams’s left.

Mr. Adams, whose victory over his Republican opponent, Curtis Sliwa, seemed resounding, will begin the job with significant political influence.

He rallied a broad coalition and was embraced by both Mayor Bill de Blasio, who sought to set a more left-leaning course for New York, and by center-right leaders such as Michael R. Bloomberg, Mr. de Blasios’ predecessor. Mr. Adams was the preferred candidate of the unions and wealthy donors. And he and Governor Kathy Hochul, who showed up for his victory party, have made it clear that they intend to have a more productive relationship than Mr de Blasio had with Andrew M. Cuomo when he was governor.

Sir. Adams was happy to take the stage at the New York Marriott in Brooklyn an hour after the polls closed, and went in for “The Champ Is Here,” a Jadakiss song he used during his campaign before giving his speech of thanks.

“We are so divided right now and we miss the beauty of our diversity,” said Mr. Adams, remarks that repeated the “beautiful mosaic” that David N. Dinkins, New York’s first black mayor, knew discussed. “Today we take off the intramural jersey and we put a jersey on: Team New York.”

The Associated Press called Mr. Adams’ victory for 10 minutes after the polls closed, reflecting the overwhelming advantage Democrats have in New York City, even despite signs of low turnout. A few minutes later, AP Alvin Bragg, a Democrat, declared the winner of the Manhattan District Attorney’s race.

Mr. Sliwa admitted Tuesday night, telling supporters he “promises my support for the new mayor Eric Adams.” But Mr. Sliwa, a longtime tabloid event, also insisted: “You want Curtis Sliwa to kick around.”

Observers of New York politics awaited results in two Long Island races on district attorneys testing suburban attitudes toward the state’s latest criminal justice reforms.

And in Buffalo, a fiercely contested battle between India B. Walton, a Democratic Socialist and the Democratic candidate, and incumbent Mayor Byron W. Brown received national attention. A victory was not expected to be decided on election night, in part because Mr Brown was leading a writing campaign. But about 60 percent of the ballots were marked for enrollment, and Mr Brown declared victory.

In New York City, the difficulties faced by Mr. Adams, 61, will encounter, clearly, even as he celebrated his victory. “We are fighting Covid, crime and economic devastation at once,” he said Tuesday night.

In fact, in one of the world’s financial capitals, workers are barely leaking back to their Midtown offices. The tourism industry is suffering. Many of the city’s beloved restaurants and other businesses have closed forever. And while Wall Street profits are rising, the city’s unemployment rate was 9.8 percent in September, with job growth lagging behind the pace some economists had predicted last spring.

Mr. Adams will also inherit a budget gap of about $ 5 billion, which will require immediate action, said Andrew S. Rein, chairman of the party-political Citizens Budget Commission. There will be contracts to negotiate with city workers, and eventually the federal assistance that helped pay for some city priorities will dwindle.

“Every decision has long-term implications,” he said. Rein. “If you start earlier, you can take care of it. When you are in an emergency, it is difficult to make good decisions that are not painful. ”

Mr. Adams has stressed that he plans to focus on eradicating inefficiencies – and he has several proposals he wants to introduce – but the scale of the fiscal challenges is likely to require difficult choices to be made.

He has made it clear that big business has a role to play in shepherding the city’s recovery, and there are indications that he may have a much warmer relationship with business leaders than Mr de Blasio, who was elected on a fiery populist platform.

“He has restored confidence that the city is a place where business can thrive,” said Kathryn S. Wylde, head of the business-aligned Partnership for New York City. “He has demonstrated that he has the courage to be fundamentally politically incorrect when it comes to dealing with the demonization of wealth and business.”

There is no topic the next mayor has discussed more than public safety.

“We will not just talk about security,” he said. Adams. “We want security in our city.”

Mr. Adams grew up poor in Queens and Brooklyn, saying he was once a victim of police brutality. He spent his first years in public life as a transit police officer and later a captain who pushed on, sometimes provocatively, for changes within the system. That experience cemented his credibility with many older colored voters, some of whom distrusted the police while also worrying about crime.

During the primary election, amid a rise in gun violence and appalling attacks on the subway that fueled the public’s fear of crime, Mr. Adams as one of his party’s most adamant advocates for the police to maintain a robust role in maintaining public safety. He often clashed with those trying to scale down law enforcement in favor of promoting greater investment in mental health and other social services.

Mr. Adams, who has said he has no tolerance for violent officers, supports the restoration of a reformed plainclothes anti-crime unit. He opposes the abuse of stop-and-go police tactics, but sees a role for practice in some circumstances. And he has called for a more visible police presence on the subways.

The issue of public safety remained in the minds of some voters on Tuesday.

“Hopefully, when he used to be in the NYPD, he could get everything amicably back with the city and the NYPD, because it’s been very dangerous out here,” Esmirna Flores, 38, said as she prepared to vote for Mr. Adams and Bronx.

Still other voters said Mr. Adams’ emphasis on police work raised concerns. And he will certainly face opposition on the subject from some future city council members.

Tiffany Cabán, a prominent member of the Democratic Socialists in America, said she was “ready to cooperate” on many issues.

“Then you will see that there are times when there will be tensions,” she said. After emphasizing potential areas of common ground, she mentioned the prospect of Mr. Adams more assertive police policy, adding: “We will be ready for a fight on these things.”

There may also be battles over education. Mr. de Blasio recently promised to begin phasing out the talented program in the city’s schools, which puts children on different academic tracks and has been criticized for exacerbating segregation. The problem inspires strong passions among parents.

Mr. Adams has indicated that he wants to retain and expand access to the program while creating more opportunities for students who have learning disabilities, as he did. He supports universal screening for dyslexia.

More immediately, he faces the task of filling his government.

Throughout the campaign, Mr. Adams to significant questions from Mr. Sliwa – and the news media – on issues of transparency, residence and his own financial situation. The people he hires for his administration will play a significant role in setting the tone in matters of ethics and competence.

Asked what he was looking for in his powerful position as first deputy mayor, Mr. Adams on Tuesday that his “No. 1 criteria” was “emotional intelligence.”

“If you do not feel with that person, you will never give them the services they need,” he said.

For some voters, it was Mr. Adams’ own life experience that forced them to show up.

Mark Godfrey, a 65-year-old black man, said Mr. Adams’ progress showed that “there are subtle changes happening in the United States” related to racialism and representation.

“He has been on both sides,” said Mr. Godfrey about Mr. Adams’ experience in law enforcement. “He has been a survivor, and he has been a part of the change.”

Reporting was contributed by Alexander Burns, Nicholas Fandos, Nicole Hong, Jonathan Martin, Jeffery C. Mays, Julianne McShane and James Thomas.

By Victor

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